Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nutrition Made Simple - Why Sugar is Bad For You

Of course this is nothing new. If there’s one thing that almost everyone in the nutrition world agrees on is that sugar is bad. It’s really quite simple. Sugar disrupts how your body works. Here’s how (in no particular order):

1.       Sugar depresses your immune system for up to five hours after you consume it.
2.       Sugar depletes key vitamins and nutrients, particularly your B vitamins and minerals.
3.       Sugar feeds the “bad” bacteria, fungus, yeast, and parasites.
4.       Sugar feeds cancer cells.
5.       Sugar fuels hormone imbalances by raising insulin levels which effects thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormone balance.

If you want to get the full picture click here and see over 150 reasons how sugar ruins your health!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Three Minerals You Need to Balance Your Nervous System – The Importance of Phosphorus, Potassium, and Calcium

The nervous system has two main components: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is what connects the rest of the body to the central nervous system. There are three types of peripheral nerves: autonomic (involuntary nerves), somatic (voluntary nerves), and sensory nerves. 

For our purposes here we will focus on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) - sometimes thought of as the “automatic nervous system.” That is because what it controls are for the most part involuntary activities. It will conduct nerve impulses from the central nervous system to cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and glandular epithelial muscle. To put in plain English – it tells our heart to beat, our digestive system to move food along, the endocrine glands to produce hormones, and for us to breathe. 

The autonomic nervous system has two components: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). During our normal daily affairs we will switch back and forth between the two of them, but it is impossible for them both to be going at the same time. 

The sympathetic nervous system serves as the emergency or stress system. Think of the “fight or flight” response. See a tiger, need to run. The parasympathetic nervous system controls our normal, everyday conditions. In an analogy to a car, the sympathetic nervous system is often described as the accelerator, while the parasympathetic system is the brakes. Sometimes after long periods of stress the autonomic nervous system is not performing correctly and we will accelerate when we should brake and brake when we should accelerate. 

While our body was designed to handle stress, it was not designed to handle the constant stress that many people experience. Often people do not recognize their own stress level as they erroneously believe they are handling the stress, or it is how they always feel and do not notice a difference. Yet, their body is under constant stress from both conscious and unintended lifestyle and diet choices. 

Both our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems require specific nutrients. The accelerator function of the sympathetic nervous system is controlled by Phosphorus. Phosphorus is energizing – like fire. In fact, it burns immediately when exposed to air! Fortunately our Phosphorus is inside our body!

We are bombarded with messages about the importance of calcium for our bones.  Well, without phosphorus all the calcium in the world will not do you much good.  In fact, it may cause harm if there is too much calcium and not sufficient phosphorus.  

Phosphorus is the second key mineral by content in our bones.  It supports healthy bone formation, energy production, cell growth and repair (remember blood cells are made in our bones), collagen synthesis (that's what helps make the bone), cardiovascular function, and nerve and muscle activity.  It is a key part of calcium and sugar metabolism.

Food sources of phosphorus include almonds, brewer's yeast, eggs, fish (halibut, salmon), glandular meats, lean beef, lentils, liver, milk, peanuts, poultry, pumpkin seeds, wheat bran, and yogurt.

What about potassium?  Potassium strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system. It acts like a governor and helps calm the nervous system. It is critical for the ongoing health of every cell in our body.  That’s a pretty important job!  Along with its partner sodium, the two minerals balance the nutrient and waste exchange of each cell.  Potassium is involved in nerve and muscle functioning where it again teams with sodium.  It also maintains our body’s fluid balance, electrolyte balance, and pH balance.

Foods containing potassium include: almonds, artichokes, avocado, bananas, beet greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, lentils, lima beans, oranges, papaya, pinto beans, prunes, raisins, spinach, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, tomatoes, wheat germ, winter squash, and yams. 

Calcium is one of the most talked about minerals and for good reason.  It supports strong bone structure, teeth, and muscle tissue, aids in blood clotting function, supports cardiovascular and nerve functions, and helps in normal functioning of many enzymes.  Calcium works in conjunction with Phosphorus and Potassium to balance these important systems.

The best sources of calcium are of course from food.  It is also a misconception that this has to come from milk.  Leafy green vegetables are a great source of calcium.  For calcium choose: bone meal, cheese (best are Cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss), collard greens, flaxseed, liver, milk, molasses, mustard greens, sesame seeds, spinach, turnip greens, wheat germ and yogurt.

For a more complete look at Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, and all other minerals please reference my articles Key Minerals for Healthy Bones by clicking here and Know Your Nutrients – A Few More by clicking here

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nutrition Made Simple - A New Blog Series

I’m pleased to announce a new weekly Blog series I’m calling “Nutrition Made Simple.” My tendency is to write longer articles with detailed explanations. It has come to my attention that some clients also like “short and sweet.” So, I will start offer these short blogs that get right to the point – Nutrition Made Simple – one blog per week on Thursdays.  Topics will include:

1.       Why sugar is bad for you
2.       Why artificial sweeteners are bad for you
3.       Why trans-fats are bad for you
4.       Why saturated fat is good for you
5.       Why you need cholesterol
6.       Why protein is important
7.       Why you need the right kind of stomach acid
8.       Why you want to hang on to your gall bladder
9.       How prolonged stress impacts the body
10.   What specific vitamins do and where to get them

Monday, October 20, 2014

Probiotics: Do We Need Them or Not?

Digestion is one of my favorite topics. Many of my clients suffer from a variety of digestive issues: from gas, bloating, and occasional heart burn; to constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux; and then on to IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, Celiac, and diverticulitis. In my late teens, through college, and into my mid-thirties I too suffered with digestive issues. I was diagnosed with IBS and the “solution” was to eat more fiber. That didn’t really work. As I began to learn more about healthy eating it turned out to be a relatively simple fix – stop eating bagels and cereals for breakfast – and soon my digestion was vastly improved and my seasonal asthma was gone!

To say we are only as good as our digestion may be an understatement. You can eat the healthiest of foods, but if you are not digesting them, you are not getting the nutrients that your body requires for long term health.

It is likely you are familiar with the three classes of foods that need to be digested – protein, carbohydrates, and fats. However, it is less likely you are familiar with the “triad of digestion” or the three essential substances produced in your body necessary for strong digestion – hydrochloric acid, lactic acid, and bile. Hydrochloric acid and lactic acid are as their names indicate – acids, while bile is an alkaline substance. 

Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach and primarily responsible for protein digestion. Bile is produced in the liver, concentrated and stored in the gall bladder, and released into the duodenum (small intestine) to enable fat digestion. Lactic acid is made in the colon (large intestine) and finishes up carbohydrate digestion.

The digestion process starts in the stomach as hydrochloric acid sterilizes and breaks food down into liquid.  It kills potential pathogens such as bacteria and parasites; prepares calcium, zinc, and Vitamin B12 to be properly utilized; and begins the digestion of proteins. Digestive issues will start when the body does not make or does not have adequate levels of hydrochloric acid. For more information you can reference my articles The Importance of Hydrochloric Acid by clicking here and The Stomach by clicking here The supplements Betaine Hydrochloride and Zypan from Standard Process can increase acidity in the stomach when the body does not make sufficient hydrochloric acid.

While the environment in the stomach needs to be acidic, for the small intestines to do their job, the environment must be slightly alkaline. The gall bladder sends bile into the small intestines where it will help to alkalize the environment by neutralizing the hydrochloric acid coming in from the stomach and it will emulsify fats and oils so they can be properly digested. If the body is not providing sufficient bile there are obvious consequences. For more information you can reference my articles The Liver, Gall Bladder, and Pancreas – Behind the Scenes Helpers of Digestion by clicking here and The Small Intestines by clicking here There are a variety of supplements from Standard Process that support liver and gall bladder functionality including A-F Betafood, Betafood, and Cholacol. 

The last stop on the digestion train is the colon. The natural state of the colon is acidic and lactic acid is the key. The “good” in “good bacteria” is their ability to convert carbohydrates into lactic acid. Lactic acid protects the body from pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungus and lines the colon, vaginal tract, and skin to protect against overgrowth. When our gut bacteria are mostly of the “bad” bacteria, this does not occur, resulting in gas and bloating, vaginal yeast infections, and skin problems. For more information you can reference my articles The Large Intestine and the Importance of Probiotics by clicking here and It’s All About the Gut by clicking here

This is where the discussion of probiotics comes into play. As I state in the latter article, “Our microbiome is a large, diverse and dynamic population of micro-organisms. During birth and the first two years of life we acquire our “native bacteria.” This comes primarily from our mother from our birth and (hopefully) subsequent breast feeding. Thus, mom’s health and her microbiome are of extreme importance to baby and instrumental in shaping the future health of the child. After this “transient bacteria” is constantly ingested into our body from food, water, air, and if we choose probiotics.”

This means that any Probiotic you are taking is essentially “transient.” This means for it to be effective you need to keep taking it. It is not populating your gut. If you stop, it is likely that the “bad” bacteria, yeast, and fungus will then take over the environment. Perhaps there is another way to address the issue.

There are three main yeasts that we come across in our diet. Baker’s yeast converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide (gas); Brewer’s yeast converts carbohydrates into alcohol (fermentation); and Mycelium yeast converts carbohydrates into lactic acid. Mycelium yeast is found in a supplement from Standard Process called Lactic Acid Yeast. By increasing our consumption of this type of yeast we can increase the lactic acid in our colon which helps prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria, reduces the risk of colon cancer, and crowds out other yeast and fungus while protecting the lining of our colon.

Therefore, we can conclude, that taking a supplement such as Lactic Acid Yeast may actually be more beneficial as it will reduce the “bad” bacteria, yeast, and fungus while creating the natural environment for your own “good” native bacteria to rule the environment.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 2014 Newsletter - Worth The Wait I Promise!!

Hard to believe the Fall has arrived. All of a sudden the nights are longer than the days.

I’m just back from the last of my three major training events – Back to School for Doctors 2014. This is an annual conference presented in Denver by Mark Anderson of Standard Process West. It is primarily targeted at Chiropractors, but there are a few of us Nutritionists, as well as Acupuncturists, Naturopaths, and even some medical doctors and dentists in attendance. To put it simply – it is awesome. Mark is a dynamic speaker who presents the scientific studies that we don’t often hear about: the ones that support much of what we do (or have done) in the natural healing arts. 

I look forward to sharing this information. There was a lot to digest and process so I am starting work on four new articles for future newsletters, including this one – hence the delay.  My goal is two this month and two next month. As you can probably guess from the titles there’s some good stuff:

1.       Supporting Your Immune System or How to Give Your Body Its Best Shot Against Unwanted Viruses (Such as the flu, E68, or even dare I say Ebola)

2.        B4: The Vitamin You Likely Never Heard Of and How It Protects Your Heart (Perhaps there is another reason for the rise in heart disease)

3.       Is Your Probiotic Really Helping You or Are You Flushing Good Money Down the Toilet?

4.       Steadying Your Mind and Emotions: The Role of Minerals in Balancing Your Nervous System

Time for a Cleanse?
I also wanted to mention that the Fall is a great time for a cleanse. There are still lots of great fresh vegetables available and you can utilize healthy warming soups to take the place of the salads in the cleanse.  As a special bonus I still have a few of the special offer books available – those are on a first come first serve basis for cleansers if you have not received one yet. Everyone who has one loves the book which even offers meal by meal planning for the 21 days. And for those not wanting to do the full 21 days there are now four 10 day cleanse options: Blood Sugar, Female Vitality, Male Vitality, and Anti-Inflammatory. 

A Special Thanks
This past week I received one of those testimonials that I love to share. This is what re-affirms the work! What my clients do is not easy. We all know it is difficult to change habits, especially what we eat. But, when clients are compliant – this is what happens:

“Healing is possible with Bernie Rosen Wellness! Thru Bernie’s work with me over the past year I have made monumental strides mentally and physically.  With the use of natural healing methods such as yoga, proper nutrition and standard process products, we have rid my body of unhealthy parasites and balanced my hormones.  I have also worked through some emotionally difficult times much thanks to Bernie’s guidance and direction.  He is always there to return an email or even reach out with a phone call when you need it most.  His service is priceless it could save your life.  I am now able to live up to my fullest potential and always know where to go for help if I wander off my path. “ E.E.

Supporting Your Immune System or How to Give Your Body Its Best Shot Against Unwanted Viruses (Such as the flu, E68, HPV, or even dare I say Ebola)
I’ll admit right off the top I’m certainly no expert on Ebola, but it seems quite apparent neither are the “experts” be they in the Federal Government (the CDC) or your major medical institutions.  And I’m no expert on the latest “new and mysterious” Enterovirus 68 (or E68) virus or the flu or any of the other viruses that wreck havoc on us – Herpes, Epstein-Barr, HPV, etc. 

But what I do know is that with all these viruses about us the best way to protect ourselves is with a strong immune system. Without that we are prone to these unwanted invaders.

To best understand our internal immunity we look at the relationship between four important nutrients – Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Ionized Calcium (Calcium in the blood stream), and the essential fatty acids (from here on referred to as Vitamin F).

For the rest of the article click here:

B4: The Vitamin For Heart Health You May Never Heard Of
Vitamin B4 - ever heard of it? If I were a betting person I’d say probably not.  Well perhaps there is a reason. Maybe someone doesn’t want you to know what it is you are missing.

For the full story click here

Here’s the important part of the story. In nature B1 and B4 are found together in the B Complex as described above. With these two factors this B vitamin is the anti-beriberi nutrient. But, there are two kinds of beriberi: “wet” beriberi which affects the cardiovascular system (the heart) and “dry” beriberi which affects the nervous system. B1 (Thiamin) supports the nervous system while B4 supports the heart.

The more easily identified form of beriberi is the “dry”. This leads to paralysis - which is quite evident. Beriberi is Swahili for “I can’t, I can’t.” The “wet” form with its damage to the heart is a longer process and not as immediately evident. 

More specifically B4 has two main functions. The first is to maintain muscle tone. As the vitamin becomes deficient muscle tone, particularly of the heart suffers. The second function is to convert chemical energy into electrical energy which fuels the heart. When the heart is starved of electricity it enlarges. With enlargement it also becomes flaccid (lacks muscle tone) and the tissue responds to the forces of gravity by sinking. This pulls the valves and other structures down causing minor leakages, ultimately compounding the heart disease. 

As you can see – B4 is essential for heart health.

So back to the original question – what happened to B4? Quite simple – B4 is part of the B complex as found in real foods, for example whole grains. When grain is refined (as in white bread and other white flour products) the B4 is removed. And here’s the kicker. B4 cannot be made in the lab.  There is no synthetic version – no one can make isolated B4.  The food manufacturers cannot add it back to their grain products during their “enrichment” process (of course this is misleadingly called “fortifying” or “enriching”) when they add back other B vitamins such as Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Folic Acid. 

Due to our modern diets of refined grain products we become deficient in B4 and over time this leads to the enlarging of the heart, minor leakages, damage to the heart, and simultaneously heart disease.

Fortunately the solution is rather simple. Be sure to eat real food products that have their full assortment of vitamins intact. Another option is to supplement, however this must be done with products that are derived from whole foods and contain B4. In my practice I use Standard Process supplements which fit this description.

That’s all for now. The November newsletter will contain the next two articles (hopefully!! – it is coming up in a few weeks).